Reduced to Joy

Reduced to Joy

4.3 (206 ratings by Goodreads)
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Mark Nepo is emerging as one of the truly significant writers and thinkers of today. Nepo has a singular way of distilling great truths down to their essence. Moreover, during his cancer journey, Nepo relied on the power of expression and the writing process to keep him tethered to life. In Reduced to Joy, Mark Nepo explores the places where pain and joy are stitched to resilience, uncovering them with deep wisdom, poetic passages and personal revelations. Nepo reminds us all of the secret and sacred places within, forgotten in the noise and chatter of our busy distracted 21st Century lives. Reduced to Joy is a lesson in stillness, in standing in the mystery and, above all, in the work of love.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 127 x 184 x 17.78mm | 226.8g
  • Berkeley, United States
  • English
  • 1936740575
  • 9781936740574
  • 258,453

Back cover copy

Mark Nepo, the "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Book of Awakening," has been called "one of the finest spiritual guides of our time," "a consummate storyteller" and "an eloquent spiritual teacher." Now in his sixties, he has written "Reduced to Joy," a book of seventy-three poems about the nature of working with what we're given till it wears us through to joy. Nepo says, "Poetry is the well from which all my books rise. It's where I always go to listen, always stunned by what arrives. I bring these poems back from the deep like shells from the sea that we can look at together." Profound and accessible, Nepo's poems are tools for staying close to what matters.
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Review quote

"Mark Nepo's "Reduced to Joy" can change how you approach the challenge of any day."
"The title of the collection, "Reduced to Joy," is a perfect representation of these fine works for there is joy to be found on every page, in every poem, through every word. This is a book worth owning and keeping and visiting and revisiting."
--"San Francisco Book Review"
"Mark Nepo's latest poetry collection is about softening the heart, letting go, while also becoming embracing the whole human experience."
--"ForeWord Reviews"
"Mark Nepo has a rare quality of writing, one that fills you up even as it drops you into emptiness. Through his sensibilities we touch what is human: he plucks at our heartstrings with naked candor and metaphorical mastery. Brilliant, profound and accessible, the poems in this collection are like precious treasures rising from the deep, glistening reminders of what really matters."
--"New Consciousness Review"
"In a new collection of 73 poems, Mark Nepo harvests the meanings and memories of a rich and full life, which has been criss-crossed with pain and elation. In vivid imagery, he captures those connections and epiphanies which illuminate the human condition and give us insights into what's going on inside us and buzzing about in our high tech culture."
--"Spirituality & Practice"
"He goes straight to the heart of pain, happiness, adversity, and accomplishment to find the gift that lives within the moment. He retrieves those gifts and expresses the truth of them in words that inspire and uplift in a sustainable way."
--Anna Jedrziewski, "Retailing Insight"
"Mark's writings possess the power to immediately move us into connection with a subtle and powerful awareness at the deepest, most soulful level. "
--Debra Moffit, author of "Awake in the World"
"Poems that have the power to transform your life both light up the mind and warm the heart as they strip your self of pretense and the impermanent. Mark Nepo's poems transmit those transfiguring experiences inside words of beauty. Nepo's poems should carry a warning label: 'These poems are dangerous to your false self.'"
--Rev. Ed Bacon, author of "8 Habits of Love"; rector, All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, California
""Reduced to Joy" invites us to open our hearts and accept the beauty that the world holds. At the same time, Nepo's poems urge us to dive deep into our own experiences, to question, to search for the truths that we must accept and embrace. His poems are full of such tremendous love that you can't help being touched by them."
--Kate Hopper, author of "Ready for Air: A Journey through Premature Motherhood" and "Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers"
"Nepo makes simple, often overlooked things in life, meaningful and the meaningful, but sometimes overly complex things, simple. This is a beautiful book of poems to deepen and nurture the soul with love and joy, even for those who have never read a poem in their life."
--Allen Klein, author of "The Art of Living Joyfully" and "Always Look on the Bright Side"
""Reduced to Joy" has many different kinds of poems, all of them clear, wise, beautifully put, spare.The ones I like best have small stories in them, like the one of his father's four uproarious Russian unclesaround a pool table in the 1950s. (Running the Table) Mark Nepo has a great heart. His poems are good company."
-Coleman Barks
"The soul is so precious, full of joy and wonder, and the pain that comes from love. These poems touch the soul, reminding each of us what it means to be fully alive, to be surrounded by what is sacred. Allow them to reach under your skin, to where mystery is born into meaning."
--Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee Ph.D., Sufi teacher and author of " Prayer of the Heart"
"By having, as he puts it, nothing to say, Mark Nepo says everything in this new book of poems. By showing us again and again what happens when one man is "completely at peace," we witness what is possible when we are "reduced to joy" by an honest life, and by poetry itself."
--Phil Cousineau, author of "The Art of Pilgrimage" and "The Painted Word"
"Mark Nepo's poems in his new book, "Reduced to Joy, " reduce me first to grateful silence, and then to tears, and then to laughter, and then to praise. He joins a long tradition of truth-seeking, wild-hearted poets--Rumi, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver--and deserves a place in the center of the circle with them."
--Elizabeth Lesser, Cofounder, Omega Institute, author of "Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow"
"Poems that have the power to transform your life both light up the mind and warm the heart as they strip your self of pretense and the impermanent. Mark Nepo's poems transmit those transfiguring experiences inside words of beauty. Nepo's poems should carry a warning label: 'These poems are dangerous to your false self.'
--Rev. Ed Bacon, author of "8 Habits of Love," All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, California
"Nepo's voice, clear, resonant and real becomes acts like the pointer on your heart's compass..
helping you navigate your most joyful life."
--Mary Anne Radmacher, author of "Lean Forward Into Your Life" and "SHE"
"Some books are so perfectly titled that you get the message without even opening the book. But of course, you still want to open the book because you want more ... more of what the title already gave you. In this case, more joy."
--BJ Gallagher, author of "It's Never Too Late To Be What You Might Have Been" and The Buddha at Work"

"In "Reduced to Joy, " Mark Nepo has written a love letter that speaks directly to the heart of the reader. He writes from the wisdom of experience - of having journeyed through two cancers. He gets to the essence of happiness, touching readers with his poetic passages and personal AH-HA's. He reminds us that in stillness, in embracing the mystery of life and in embodying our birthright as mighty expressions of love, we are reduced to joy. "
--Susyn Reeve, author of "The Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind's Capacity for Joy"
"In "Reduced to Joy, " Mark Nepo's powerful and poignant collection of life poems, we are reminded again of what it is to be truly alive. His poems inspire, connect and encourage us to breathe in our own truth so that we can rediscover the peace and joy that is also present in each moment of our lives."
--Polly Campbell, author of "Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People"
"Oh! What a marvelous book. Mark Nepo's generous, vast poems restore readers to joy even before we finish reading them -- musing upon single lines, images, stanzas -- we feel it rising up again, that precious sense of YES. And completing them -- we feel the rich trove of thinking and living so heartened and restored."
--Naomi Shihab Nye, author of "Words Under the Words"
"Rumi would have described this book of poems as a crystal chandelier -- so many jewels, each like a treasure God has placed in the heart of Mark Nepo. If you already know Mark's work, you won't want to miss this collection. And if you have never had the pleasure of experiencing the world through Mark Nepo's eyes, begin with "Reduced to Joy.""
--Gayatri Naraine, author of Something Beyond Greatness
"I am deeply moved by Mark Nepo's work, especially the healing power of the writing process he brings through to us all. His new "Reduced to Joy" cuts close to the bone with passages of pure beauty and raw honesty. I felt the stillness he wrote of, followed by a sense of peace For this, I am grateful. "
--Nina Lesowitz, author of "Living Life as a Thank You"
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About Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. Recent work includes: Reduced to Joy (2013), Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, which won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award, Staying Awake (2012), Holding Nothing Back (2012), As Far As the Heart Can See (2011), Finding Inner Courage (2011), and Surviving Has Made Me Crazy (2007), as well as audio books of The Book of Awakening, Finding Inner Courage, and As Far As the Heart Can See (2011). As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. Mark has appeared with Oprah Winfrey on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV, and has been interviewed by Oprah as part of her SIRIUS XM Radio show, Soul Series. He has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America about his New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. The Exquisite Risk was cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2005, calling it one of the best books we've ever read on what it takes to live an authentic life. Mark's collected essays appear in Unlearning Back to God: Essays on Inwardness. Other books of poetry include Suite for the Living (2004), Inhabiting Wonder (2004), Acre of Light (1994), Fire Without Witness (1988), and God, the Maker of the Bed, and the Painter (1988). His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. In leading spiritual retreats, in working with healing and medical communities, and in his teaching as a poet, Mark's work is widely accessible and used by many. He continues to offer readings, lectures, and retreats. Please visit Mark at:, http: // and
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Rating details

206 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
5 50% (104)
4 33% (68)
3 13% (27)
2 3% (6)
1 0% (1)
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